The human body is meant to get up and move. Our ancestors had no other choice. They had to get out and hunt and gather. They needed to work the fields and bring in the harvest. However, the vast majority of the population today does not need to do any of these things. Even the little bits of exercise people would get a couple of decades ago, such as going to the bank or shopping, can be accomplished at home and in front of a screen. Much of the work that people do today is also done on the computer.
How Does the Sedentary Life Hurt You?
While working on a computer for eight hours a day might not seem too bad, you have to think about what the person does the rest of the day. If they get out and exercise after work, and if they spend some time stretching during the day, then there might not be much of a problem. However, that’s rarely what happens. Instead, people go from their office at work to their couch at home, remaining as immobile as they were the rest of the day.
The body is sitting too much, and this is causing some serious problems. Research is showing that the lack of activity is causing an increase in risk for issues such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and back pain.
What Can You Do to Help Yourself?
What if you are one of those millions of people stuck in a sedentary job? What can you do to make some changes? Here are some simple ideas that can help you get out of the rut and help improve your back health, as well as your overall health.
First, become more active at work. You do not have to do pushups and crunches on the floor, but take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk at lunch, and do some stretches during the day. This is a great supplement to a full workout in the morning or after work. Also, consider parking a bit further away from the building just so you can get in a few more steps.
Second, when you are at home, you have to get out of the television rut. Even though you might want to watch some of your favorite shows, try to make the time more productive. Watch while you are on a treadmill or an exercise bike. Download television shows and movies to your phone or watch Netflix while you are on the machine at the gym. This way, you are still getting some exercise while you enjoy your shows.
Watch What You Eat
When you live a sedentary life, it means that you are not burning as many calories through the day. This can make gaining weight unfortunately easy, and if you are eating the wrong type of food, it can cause more health problems, including issues with your back. Those who are sedentary need to be especially careful about the foods they eat if they hope to stay healthy.